Saturday, February 27, 2021

Music History Today: February 28, 2021

February 28, 1983: U2 release their third album, War, with "Sunday Bloody Sunday" and "New Year's Day."

“Is That All?’” That was the question posed by U2 back where they had left off, on the last track of their sophomore set October, in the autumn of 1981. No, that most certainly was not all.

U2 release their third album War cover child boy's face with his hands clasped behind his head in black & white

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When it arrived, late in February, War was a loud and clear statement that U2 were ready for the world — and as the gold and platinum certifications started to accrue, it was clearly reciprocal. Among its countless achievements, one of the most cherished was that the record became their first UK No. 1, the first of ten to date. 

Read more: U Discover Music

February 28, 1970: The title track of Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water album hits number 1 on the Hot 100, where it remains for six weeks, longer than any other song in 1970.

Rock & roll was in full creative bloom, the film version of the Woodstock festival was about to open in theaters, and Led Zeppelin had overtaken the Beatles as favorite rock band in a U.K. poll. 
Simon & Garfunkel color photo
Simon & Garfunkel

But on February 28th, 1970, the song that would hit Number One and remain there for six weeks wasn’t a rocker but a ballad, and, it turned out, the ballad the country seemed to need at the moment as the tumultuous Sixties ended. Musically, Simon and Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water” would be a key moment in Simon’s creative development, demonstrating that he wasn’t simply limited to folk rock. 
Read more: Rolling Stone

February 28, 1972: Jackson Browne released the single "Doctor My Eyes."

"Doctor My Eyes" was the song that made Jackson Browne, who had been kicking around the music business for years, wowing record executives with his songwriting, but leaving them unable to figure out how to market him, a star.

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Jackson Browne color desktop background

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Jackson Browne color desktop wallpaper

Something of the problem and its solution are revealed in the song's development. Browne, born an Army brat in Germany in 1948 and raised in Los Angeles, began gaining notice while still in high school, writing songs and briefly joining an early lineup of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band at 17. 
Read more: Allmusic

February 28, 1981: Eddie Rabbitt begins the first if two weeks at number with "I Love a Rainy Night."

One side of country music wants to pull back to its raw-boned traditionalist roots, while another wants to chase pop-crossover money. 

Eddie Rabbitt publicity colot phoho
Eddie Rabbitt

In 1980, country music’s pendulum swung toward pop, thanks in large part to the movie Urban Cowboy, a John Travolta/Debra Winger romance about Houston oil workers who frequent a rowdy honky tonk. Urban Cowboy, essentially Saturday Night Fever in a Western shirt, was a big fat hit, and it had a Saturday Night Fever-style effect on the country music business. 

Read more: Stereogum

February 28, 1985: Following his Born In the USA album, Bruce Springsteen wins for Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and pretty much any award he was eligible for in the Rolling Stone reader's poll.

New Year's Day
U2

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